Surf Life Saving New Zealand (SLSNZ) and BP’s 50-year partnership is believed to be the longest unbroken corporate partnership in New Zealand history. Since 1968, BP has supported New Zealand’s surf lifeguards in saving more than 56,000 lives. For almost 40 years, BP-funded Inflatable Rescue Boats (IRB), have been donated to one of 74 deserving Surf Life Saving Clubs, which have been involved in more than 22,000 rescues.
Every year 5,000 surf lifeguards patrol over 90 locations, saving around 1,000 lives and assisting another 2,000 to safety. They spend over 220,000 hours on patrol and administer first aid to 2,800 people a year. Its important role in keeping New Zealanders safe is unquestionable. But, as it’s a charity,
it simply wouldn’t be able to make this significant impact without BP.
BP decided it wanted to show its continued support for SLSNZ by celebrating their 2018 milestone. The partnership began with a human connection – a desire to support valiant volunteers during the Wahine disaster.
It continues that way today. BP wanted to support its community and New Zealanders’ freedom to enjoy the country safely.
BP wanted to kick o the anniversary celebrations with a campaign that threw the attention on the great work of the surf lifeguards, not onto BP itself. This objective led to the creative idea, ‘They’ve got our backs so let’s have theirs’.
BP then invited its audience to help make New Zealand beaches safer by asking people to ‘Fuel up between the flags’, and pushing the tagline ‘Every litre counts’. BP then made a donation to SLSNZ from every litre of fuel sold in New Zealand.
During the campaign, BP had SLSNZ imagery on the main doors of BP retail sites, in-store and themed its forecourts. It also advertised on bus backs, billboards, radio, online and in national media.
BP also formed a partnership with NZME and through this it shared a profile of its SLSNZ partnership on the NZ Herald website. Four stories were published, highlighting members that had been involved in the last half century. This included a story on Ian Ferguson and the role that SLSNZ played in his life and how it helped him become New Zealand’s most successful Olympian.
All BP locations featured SLSNZ branding and messaging. In addition to the ‘Every litre counts’ message, it had point-of-sale that gave customers the opportunity to make their own discretionary donation. Surf lifeguards also helped to pump fuel and raise awareness at BPs across the country.
BP used a variety of media to raise the pro le of SLSNZ, delivering safety messages and reminding New Zealanders of the dedication and hard work of its lifesaving community.
As partners, BP and SLSNZ agreed on a fundraising goal of $250,000, which in addition to BP’s annual contribution, would significantly help SLSNZ with its work.
But BP and SLSNZ well surpassed their target, raising $459,000 to go directly into supporting day-to-day operational needs of the underfunded, essential emergency service. BP’s total contribution to SLSNZ was uplifted by nearly 110 percent.
Close to $197,000 of the money has already been distributed directly to clubs and been used for equipment and essential operational funds. The $262,000 which has not yet been spent will allow SLSNZ to continue supporting its clubs and carrying out its purpose of protecting communities in the water.
Ultimately the outcome meant that together BP and SLSNZ made New Zealand beaches safer over summer. That, of course, is priceless.